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Feral unpacked the ship with a mesmerizing swiftness and grace. His sleeveless tunic left little to the imagination. The muscles of his arms flexed, and you got lost in tracing his tattoos with your eyes. He paused to wipe the sweat off his brow with the back of his hand and looked back at you with a wink. You shook yourself out of your daze and leaped back to action to help him unpack the cargo.

“I got it,” he smiled at you.

“I’m not just here to look pretty, Feral.”

“But you do such a good job of that.”

You rolled your eyes and jabbed him in the ribs with your elbow. He clutched his side in a dramatic scene to play up your attack.

“Oh, owwwooo, how could you?” He faltered back still exaggerating his injury to get a rise out of you. A giggle escaped your lips and pretty soon a snort to follow that.

“What was that?!!” he doubled over in laughter, unable to catch himself from his pretend fall. His weight sent the large durasteel box backward. It slid off the landing ramp creating a deafening BOOM as it hit the hard ground beneath.

“Is everything alright over here?”

A very serious-looking orange twi’lek man stood at the base of the ship’s landing ramp.

“Yup everything's fine. We’re about done here. How are you?” you piped in giving Feral time to regain his stature as he stifled back laughter.

“When we spoke to Lord Maul, he made it seem as though he was sending his best men for this job. I wonder now about the accuracy of that.”

Before either of you could respond he’d turned on his heel back to wherever he’d come from. Feral made a mocking face at him as he walked away. You clasped your mouth shut with your hands, not wanting to let out another loud snort and create more havoc.

After finishing up the cargo delivery to the Hutts, the rest of the day was yours to do as you pleased. You’d both gone back up into the ship to collect your things. Once you’d collected your bag with credits and other essentials you headed to the common area to find Feral. A small surprise met you in the common room. Feral faced away and slipped his sweaty shirt off. You froze in your tracks, unable to peel your eyes from his glistening back.

“Umm…” you looked down at your feet, unsure of what to say, but needing to make your presence known. Feral turned and grabbed a clean shirt from his cubby.

“Oh hey, I’m almost ready. What do you want to do, anyway?”

“Well, I was noticing there are a lot of lakes to go swimming here. I have never been swimming in a lake before, I thought it could be fun.”

“Sure, that sounds great!”

He opened another cubby and grabbed a couple of towels before you both headed out.

The atmosphere of Dundaran felt unrefined and flamboyant. Everything seemed to drip life out of the seams. A stark contrast to the desiccated atmosphere of Mandalore you’d grown to call home for so many years. The trails to the beach, sandy and beaten down by use, were all shaded by tall trees with massive green leaves. The heat still ran thick and the sun poked through the foliage in piercing rays. You stuck your helmet back on to help shield your eyes from the blinding rays of the sun.

“Why’d you wear your armor if we’re going swimming?”

“I feel a little odd walking around in a new place without it.”

“Oh ok. I don’t know how you can wear all that armor all the time. I’d get so hot in it.”

“I’m so used to it, it feels wrong to not wear it in public. No matter the temperature.”

“Fair enough.”

Ever the one to keep a positive attitude and remain open-minded, Feral was unique from his brothers in that way. Winding through the forest's trail to find this beach was its own adventure you’d soon come to find. Small critters covered in orange and yellow fur scampered through the forest around you both. Darting in and out of the trail they'd climb the trees watching your every move with their large black eyes. The skittering of the small critters and bugs humming filled the air. It was music to your ears. How rare to feel so much life all around you.

“Come on, we’re getting close. I can feel the water is near.” Feral grabbed your hand and picked up the pace down the path.

A clearing appeared where the trees parted and light poured down. There was a grassy knoll above the sandy beach. It was picturesque. Reminiscent of something from a fairytale book you must have read as a child, but couldn’t exactly recall as an adult. Feral, still clutching your hand, tugged you forward. You’d gotten lost looking at the beauty of the lake and sky and trees all around. The water glittered and gentle waves lapped at the beach. You tripped a bit on the momentum of Feral pulling you forward. Sudden urgency to get closer to the lake helped you regain your composure.

Feral let go of your hand to run towards the beach. He dropped the towels and tore off his shirt as he ran, laughing like a madman. You couldn’t help but laugh along with him, tearing off your armor as you went.

“Wait!” You called out in laughter. You had a lot more clothes than him to dispense of.

A small splash rippled the water’s surface after Feral jumped into the water off a long wooden pier. He disappeared under the water for a time. Watching on in anticipation for him to reemerge and tell you how the water felt or some teasing remark. Seemed you could wait all day and the water remained still. Bubbles broke the stilled water's surface with the air leaving his lungs. Staring at it for much too long without acting, you realized the desperation of the situation.

Is he drowning?! Did something attack him?

With a madness not typical of yourself, you ripped the rest of your armor off. Paying no mind to where anything landed, but needing it off and needing it off now. Once down to your underclothes you booked it to the pier.

The sand kicked back by your own feet hit against the back of your legs. The sudden change of the pier's wood slick with wet rot against your bare feet should have had you slowed down. Desperate times, there wasn't a moment to care about slipping. You had no time to formalize a dive and jumped in- flailing limbs smacked against the water. It hit your skin with a flash of coldness you weren’t expecting given the hot air of the planet.

Despite the shock of the cold water, you swam in desperation around the lake looking for Feral. Spotting him, at last, sat lifeless on the bottom of the lake near the pier, you rushed down to grab him. You clutched his back to your chest and pumped your legs as hard as they could to bring you both to the surface. You heaved him up to the pier and he awoke with a playful grin on his face.

“Wha? this is NOT funny Feral, I thought you were drowning!”

“I know-” he coughed with laughter, “- I knew you’d be shy about getting into the water otherwise. I can’t believe how fast you rescued me, A plus! Honest.”

You punched his arm, admittedly, a little harder than you should have. But he faked an emergency. Your heart had felt as though it would stop at the thought of something bad happening to him. Not only would his brothers kill you, but well... it was complicated. He rubbed his arm where you hit him, and tried to laugh it off. You could only scowl at him. The actual nerve of this di’kut.

“Aw, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for it to upset you. I only wanted us to have fun. Will you come back into the water with me?”

His gold puppy dog eyes couldn’t keep you angry for long.

“Oh alright,” you agreed as you both dipped into the water from the pier. Much more gentle this time with no sense of urgency.

The initial shock of the water’s temperature now abated, it was easier to submerge yourself. Well, maybe he was onto something, but he shouldn’t have gone about it the way he had.

“I really can’t believe the audacity of you, Feral!” you splashed him in the face as you both swam further out in the water.

“I do apologize, but you know I’m right. You would’ve taken forever to get into the water otherwise.”

“Fine, whatever!”

The two of you swam around the part of the lake near the beach. You were much too cautious of your armor to go far from the beach and Feral, at least seemed to understand that. After much swimming and splashing about, it was time to relax.

“I’m going to go lay out on the beach,” you announced as you swam back.

Once you got to the beach, you soon came to discover Feral right behind you, echoing your movements. You both set out the towels and laid out on the soft sand basking in the gleaming sunshine. It had truly been so long since you could remember feeling the sun on your skin like this. Your soaked underclothes clung to your body already starting to dry in the sun.

“This has been such a fun day,” Feral spoke but kept his eyes peeled on the blue sky above.

“Yeah, it-” you stopped yourself as you felt his hand clasp onto yours still at your side.

Your heart thumped so loud in your own ears you felt certain he must be able to hear it as well. You squeezed his hand, happy to feel the warmth of his skin against yours. You felt him shift and the sun became shaded from your eyes as his head now blocked it out. Looking into his honeyed eyes and you felt you might as well melt right into the sand and drift away to sea.

“I wondered if it might be alright-”

Before he could finish you grabbed his face down to yours to consume his lips in a kiss. If this shocked him he didn’t let it show. Instead, he moved his entire body to rest on top of yours as he delved his tongue inside your mouth clashing against yours and your teeth.

He tasted sweeter than you expected, you couldn’t get enough. His hands eager to touch anywhere on your body it seemed for a moment, but ending up in your hair. Your own hands found themselves massaging the skin between his horns at the top of his head. The passion of the moment becoming clearer and clearer to each of you. Breaths became hitched, light moans escaped each of you. Body parts stiffened, others became slackened.

He pulled away for a moment smiling down at you.

“I have wanted to do that for so long.”